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Are There Different BAC Limits for Underage Drivers?

Getting charged with an OWI, or operating while intoxicated, is a big deal for anyone, but it can be an even more dire situation for an underage driver. They are not supposed to be consuming any alcohol at all, so there are different BAC, or blood alcohol concentration, limits that have been set for them. Underage drivers can face harsh penalties for making a mistake like this, but a Des Moines OWI lawyer from our firm can help you find the best possible way to defend yourself from any charges.

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When Can Underage Drivers Be Charged With an OWI?

Normally, a driver gets charged for an OWI when they have a BAC of .08% or higher. Someone would have to drink a significant amount of alcohol to get into this state, but underage drivers do not have to be this inebriated in order to be charged with a serious crime. If you are under the age of 21, a BAC of just .02% or higher is enough to end up with a court date.

This means that drinking any kind of alcoholic beverage, even if you are just having one or two, can end up setting off a breathalyzer. Underage drivers do not have any room for error here.

How Are Underage Drivers Punished for an OWI?

Usually, the punishment for an OWI is the suspension of the underage driver’s license. The first offense often results in a suspension lasting for 60 days. A second offense can cause you to lose your license for up to 90 days. You just got some degree of freedom by getting a license of your own, so you do not want to risk it getting taken away from you.

What If I Don’t Submit to Field Testing?

!What happens if you do not comply with the cop’s wishes? They cannot test your BAC if you refuse a breathalyzer, right? If this strategy worked, everyone would try it. The problem is that you have already essentially consented to any such tests when you received your license. You could lose your license if you do not go along with the field sobriety tests.

How Can You Defend Yourself from an OWI Charge?

Fortunately, there are a few ways to defend yourself from an OWI charge. Our lawyers can look at your case and decide on a strategy like:

Questioning the stop: If there was no cause to pull you over, the cop made an illegal stop. We can get any evidence gathered, like breathalyzer test results, thrown out.

Questioning the breathalyzer tests: The breathalyzer needs to be properly calibrated in order to get a correct reading. This tool also needs to be used correctly. If there is suspicion that this test was botched, the breathalyzer test can be thrown away.

There are plenty of other defenses, so give us time to find the strategy that could work for you.

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So if you or a loved one have been charged with an OWI when underaged, be sure that you are taking any charges seriously. A conviction could derail even the best-laid plans. Contact Herting Law, PLLC and schedule a consultation today.

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